In bare December woods we lie
On frozen ground to wait and try
To look through distant trees to see
If we will live or we will die.
No hero’s choice has put me here
Caught between two kinds of fear,
One of safety bought with scorn,
And one of duty bought most dear.
At a hushed command I rise.
To those behind I am their eyes
Or, more, their blind man’s cane that probes
Until it meets with some surprise.
And now I fearful move ahead
Toward the forest-hidden dread,
True to them and true to me.
There’s little more that can be said.